Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update 27

Greetings everyone/Kia ora tatou - highlights this week for those of you who read the first paragraph only - 1) Christine rang from England - yeh Christine - I love you and I love hearing your voice!!; 2) the Football started - yeh football - Rochdale off to a winning start (a draw and a win actually) and the Arsenal kicked off their new campaign with a win against West Brom. Unconvincing but a win nonetheless. 3) The All Blacks smashed the 'boks 19 nil - wow!! 4) kiwis won two gold medals at the olympics 5) I've been listening to some great music this week - I found a fantastic compilation of kiwi music 1970 to 1975 and the memories came flooding back and 6) spring is sprung (kinda).

First up - here's a picture of me getting my hair cut at Headquarters (in New Plymouth) by Jenna. Jenna has the huge honour of being trusted with the dynasty's hair, so that's not only me but Jacky, Jade, Samantha, and Michelle.

This comes to you courtesy of bluetooth technology and Jenna's insistence that I put her on my blog. Job done!

This week generally has been another hectic one - night meetings do me in, especially three in a week - cream crackered, Jacky had to have a cortisone injection in her shoulder (youch!), two more lambs were born, both rams - Jade did a great job saving one of them from the elements - yes it's been raining heavily still, and all the usual school discipline and management stuff including teaching my class - I have a Year 11 Unit Standard English class - not the most able English students but great fun and keen - only three girls which is s.o.p. Currently they are finishing off a unit on practical texts - recipes, newspaper stories etc. During the week I also signed up to Facebook - much to the amusement of the kids, well Keegan, Adam and Jade - Samantha lost her phone and therefore we had no contact with her for the week but she'll be amused no doubt. I'm not sure why they thought it was hilarious I had a Facebook site (link is opposite). It all started with getting Leda's photo which I found on her Facebook, then I was trying to establish contact with Noel Forth - a guy I'd written to and swapped Beatle records with many years ago way before Keegan arrived I think. When I googled Noel I got his Facebook and then had to join up to send him a message. Then the thing snowballed and a lot of former students and friends joined me. I rather naively didn't think these sites had a cool quotient but looks like they do and the younger set don't tend to use Facebook - wow! Txts Bebo and MSN are their networks. I did read in the Guardian (so it must be true) that Facebook is the fastest growing social network site or something like that. So anyway..

My two cents worth on the olympics - one world, one dream, one great viewing experience and a great time to be proudly Chinese (my version of Kennedy's 'I am a Berliner'). I'm not one for watching the opening ceremonies of events so I only caught bits of it - hugely impressive it was though - Jacky watched it all and was amazed and then indignant when she learned of the fudging of fireworks and the little girl who sang except she didn't. I'm not bothered actually - the whole event was put together by Zhang Yimou - the director of one of my favourite films 'House of Flying Daggers' so I wasn't expecting reality - it's the opening ceremony after all. The best comment I saw was in the (surprise surprise) Guardian:

The pyrotechnics were followed by a parade of athletes as all 204 nations waved their way around the stadium. Finally Chinese gymnast Li Ning was hoisted on to the roof to light an Olympic torch. At the closing ceremony the torch will be handed to London mayor Boris Johnson, who is perhaps even now ripping up plans for the morris dancing parade and thinking maybe he should buy some more balloons.

Personally I can't wait for 2012 and London. Bring it on!!

It was great to visit the Warehouse (chain of NZ department stores) and get that CD -called 'Under The Southern Moonlight - The kiwi rock scene 1970-1975'(UTSM). Boy oh boy - I didn't quite realise how strong each song was in terms of attached memory. It's the music of our youth that always has the greatest hold - for John Lennon no one ever bettered 'Whole Lotta Shaking Going On'. 1971 to 1976 are my secondary school years (yes - 6 of 'em thanks to a failed year at School C 1973) and you'll see on my whanau map that this post goes to some old school mates - all of whom love music and humour - why we gravitated towards each other in the first place. The aforementioned Noel is the same and if he was slightly younger and had been at Mount Albert Grammar with us (Greg, Pete, Mike) instead of our opposition (Auckland Grammar) we would've been mates a bit earlier. Roger Marbeck ditto. Rog is our age but not a grammar boy even tho his dad is a MAGS old boy. So for many of us 50somethings then it's the early 70's that resonates.

Actually I have Noel to thank for meeting Rog in the first place. Noel used to send me Aussie currency to buy Apple stuff for him from Marbecks which used to be the greatest music store in the universe and that lead to me meeting and working with Rog. To update Noel - Rog and Murray sold last year. Anyway...I digress (again)...

Here are some random memories derived from some key tracks on UTSM - Where to start? Okay Blerta's 'Dance all around the world'

- the NZ Loxene Golden Disc awards were a televised event that were subsequently put on record and 1971/1972 were stellar years. It was the pop idol of its day and along with 'New Faces' was the only avenue for new groups/singers/whathaveyou

( Space Waltz 'Out on the street; Split Ends '129' ) to be on TV so it was all we knew. I loved the eclectism of the shows and the records - Suzanne, the Rumour, Chapta, Lutha, the mighty Quincy Conserve etc etc were my first accessible musical moments really. I didn't know about Chicago or Blood Sweat and Tears when I listened to Quincy Conserve's brass heavy rock. I just knew they were great! The fact that others were New Zealanders from Ponsonby (Dragon) or were playing at our school ball (Th'Dudes) or were playing at the school during lunch (Tole Puddle) or were playing at the University (After Hours/Waves) made these sounds more meaningful/accessible during the 70s for us. Hearing the Blerta song again (I bought it on 45rpm at the time but haven't played it for years)instantly brought back memories of watching those shows.

My other memory of Split Ends, later to become Enz, was Mike Budd giving me a copy of the single when we lived in Asquith Ave (where Pete lived too) in Mount Albert. He was working at the Heards sweet factory where members of the Enz were also working and they gave him some copies for his mates.

Space Farm on this compilation as well. I remember taking this album round to Greg's place for him to listen to - maybe I even swapped it for some Apple singles Greg? BTW - Greg and his brother Michael and I went to lots of shows at places like His Majesties Theatre and heard heaps of NZ bands - the Enz, Citizen Band, Hello Sailor, Streettalk etc. Great gigs!

Headband are also there on UTSM - two quick memories - Led Zep raving about the album when they toured (1972?) and dad playing the track 'The Laws Must Change' incredibly loud to test some stereo equipment in the underhouse garade at 18 Korma Ave, Royal Oak, Auckland. Enuf - and I haven't even mentioned the two best tracks on UTSM - Tramline's ' Villards Song' and Murry Grindlay's Nova's Song'. Excellent excellent stuff.

Nature watch: This week's daffodil photos show that spring is slow in coming - still firmly wrapped up.

I took the photos of some buds and flowers in the garden and Bazil and Finn have finally been able to get out and about in between the showers this weekend. Saturday my boys football lost 3 - 1. I ref'd and in the first half we had hail and sleet! My face hurt.

See you next week - have a good one!!

Love and peace - W


Eirian said...

The world is obviously getting smaller as NZ and UK weather sound remarkably similar - all wind and rain here in Leigh on Sea.

Anonymous said...

The world is obviously getting smaller as weather in NZ and UK sound remarkably similar! All wind and rain here in Leigh-on-Sea. (This is from Ei -couldn't work out how to make that clear!)